That’s my year made.
2. Science Fiction. A weapon producing destructive laser or similar beams (of variable phase); spec. a (usually hand-held) device whose output can be varied to produce different effects on a target (as stunning, annihilation, etc.). Also in extended use and in figurative context.First used in the U.S. television series Star Trek.
1966 G. Roddenberry Memo 26 Apr. in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ iii. i. 272 Reference the mating of various components of the phaser weapons..when the hand phaser is mated to the pistol, they should appear as one weapon.
1967 Pop. Sci. Dec. 73/2 The main weaponry of the Enterprise is its banks of ‘ship’s phasers’,—artillery-size versions of the hand phasers and phaser pistols carried by the crew. These weapons are, of course, refinements of today’s familiar lasers.
1978 D. Bloodworth Crosstalk xxxiii. 256 The USAAF had brought down the first unmanned plane with a laser, and..had..been thinking in terms of light, chemically-operated versions that could be phased together… ‘Phasers?’ ‘Phasers. Right.’
1984 D. Duane My Enemy, my Ally vi. 85 Mr. Chekov, arm photon torpedoes, prepare to lock phasers on for firing.
1995 THIS Mag. July 21/2 His oddly reserved nature stands out… Whyte sets his phaser on stun, not kill. In print and in person, he usually gives a nod to his opponents before letting fly.
2000 Personal Computer World Dec. 481/2 The phaser rifle..easily vaporises most opponents in a spectacular orange echoey screaming fashion with a single shot.
…I get quoted often enough. (Normally in connection with potato chips.) But to be cited in the single reference that I use more than any other?*
*And to find out about it on International Literacy Day? There’s a certain pleasure in that too.